Avenger TBF, Grumman
First flown on 1 August 1941, the three-seat Grumman TBF-1 Avenger torpedo-bomber entered US Navy service just in time to participate in the Battle of Midway in June 1942. During its World War II lifespan, the Avenger design changed very little, and this allowed it to be built in huge quantities. Demand for the airplane was so great that the General Motors Company was also contracted to build it, under the designation TBM-1, beginning in September 1942.
Over 1000, initially called Tarpon Mk I, and later designated Avenger Mk I, were also used by the Royal Navy`s Fleet Air Arm in both Atlantic and Pacific theaters.
The Avenger`s torpedo-delivery capability had a huge impact on the Japanese fleet during the war, and its rugged simplicity made it highly resistant to enemy air defenses. After the war, the Avenger continued to find niches in naval aviation. The US Navy maintained it as a search-and-rescue aircraft, an all-weather night bomber, an electronic countermeasures platform etc.
In 1953, the Royal Navy began acquiring anti-submarine warfare versions of the Avenger. These aircraft were designated the Avenger AS Mk IV, and were used in the ASW role until mid 50s.
Specifications, Avenger TBN-3:
Engines: 1,900 hp Wright R-2600-20, radial piston engine
Weight, takeoff (lbs): 17,895
Wing Span (feet): 54`2
Length (feet): 40`11
Speed (mph): 276
Ceiling (feet): un known
Range (miles): 1,000
Armament: Two 12.7mm (0.5) forward-firing machine guns, one 12.7mm (0.5) dorsal-mounted machine gun, one 7.62mm (0.3) ventral-mounted machine gun, up to 2,000lb of bombs in bomb-bay, wing-mounted rockets / drop tanks / radar pod.
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